STATE OF CALIFORNIA
PETE WILSON, Governor


PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION

505 VAN NESS AVENUE
SAN FRANCISCO, CA 94102-3298


FINAL MITIGATED NEGATIVE DECLARATION 

PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC COMPANY’S
APPLICATION NO. 97-04-043
VASONA SUBSTATION

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) applied for a Permit to Construct the proposed 230 kVolt (kv) Vasona Substation in Los Gatos, California. This substation is proposed to meet expected electrical load growth occurring in the Santa Clara Valley including the Los Gatos area.

The project site is a 3.2-acre parcel near the intersection of Winchester Boulevard and lark Avenue and is owned by PG&E. The existing Metcalf-Monta Vista 230 kV transmission line runs through the site. The proposed substation at full build out is planned to be a remote-controlled, two- transformer bank, low profile facility occupying an area approximately 250 feet by 150 feet and would require maintenance inspections once a month. Development of the site for the substation would involve construction over a four month period.

A 230/12 kV, 45 Megavolt-Ampere (MVA) transformer would be constructed in the first phase of the project. A similar transformer would be constructed at a later phase. A Spill Prevention Containment and Countermeasure (SPCC) pond and a paved driveway would be constructed within the substation site. An eight-foot high solid sound wall would be constructed along the easterly boundary of the site between the Charter Oaks condominium complex and the substation. The proposed project includes replacing the 80-foot high double wood pole support structures on-site and on the Elk's Lodge property across Winchester Boulevard with 100-foot high single tubular steel poles for the existing Metcalf-Monta Vista 230 kV transmission line. Because the 230 kV transmission line already passes through the site, no new extension or realignment would be required to connect the substation to the transmission system. New overhead transmission lines would be strung on the circuit (Circuit No. 1) connecting the substation to the tubular steel pole on the Elks Lodge property. The other circuit (Circuit No. 2) which by passes the substation would be reattached to the new tubular steel poles.

The existing overhead 12 kV distribution line along the east side of Winchester Boulevard between Lark Avenue and the northerly boundary of the proposed substation would be placed underground during the construction period for the project. Construction of two underground 12 kV distribution circuits would connect the Vasona Substation to the existing electric distribution system. Electrical service interruptions to customers in the area are not expected during the construction of the substation.

Further details on proposed construction methods and proposed facilities are included in the Initial Study prepared for the project and in PG&E's application and PEA.

In compliance with requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act, an Initial Study was prepared for the Vasona Substation project. This environmental study is specific to the construction of the Vasona Substation at the proposed site. An initial study under CEQA does not require the CPUC to analyze alternatives including alternative sites, (CEQA guidelines 15063(d)). The CPUC explored alternative sites under G.O. 131-D, independent of this initial study. This Mitigated Negative Declaration summarizes the findings of the Initial Study and specifically identifies mitigation measures which PG&E has incorporated into the project, in addition to those identified as part of the project in PG&E's application.

The Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration and Initial Study were issued for public review from September 8, 1997 through October 8, 1997, a 30-day review period. Extensive comments were received on these documents during and prior to the comment period. As required by CEQA, the CPUC has responded to all the comments that were received on the Draft Mitigated Negative Declaration and Initial Study. Attached is a compilation of all written comments that were received and the responses to those comments.

ENVIRONMENTAL DETERMINATION

An Initial Study was prepared to assess the potential effects on the environment of the proposed Vasona Substation project, and the respective significance of those effects. Based on the Initial Study, the proposed Vasona Substation will have less than significant effects or no impact in the areas of:

· Land Use and Planning 

· Transportation/Circulation 

· Cultural Resources 
· Population and Housing  · Energy and Mineral Resources  · Utilities and Service Systems 
· Geological Problems  · Hazards  · Aesthetics 
· Biological Resources  · Cumulative Impacts  · Recreation 

 

The Initial Study indicates that PG&E's proposed Vasona Substation would have potentially significant impacts in the areas of:
· Water · Air Quality · Noise
· Public Services · Visual/Aesthetics

Each of the identified impacts can be mitigated to avoid the impact or reduce it to a less than significant level by mitigation measures, which PG&E has agreed to comply with and incorporate as part of the project. These mitigation measures and monitoring requirements are as follows.

MITIGATION MEASURES AND MITIGATION MONITORING REQUIREMENTS

Water

Impact: Project construction activities may create silt that would be deposited in storm drains and on road surfaces.

Mitigation Measures

IV.c-1: In order to reduce hazards of silt deposition in storm drains during grading and construction of the site, PG&E shall require the construction crew or contractor to:

· install a silt barrier in the Sill Prevention Control and Countermeasure (SPCC) pond to prevent silt from discharging into the storm drain;

· remove silt from the SPCC pond when it collects to a depth of one-inch in the pond and remove all silt upon completion of site grading and covering; and

· consistent with Mitigation Measure V.a-1, sweep Winchester Boulevard within one block of the site daily until site grading and covering are completed.

Monitoring Action: CPUC mitigation monitor shall check silt conditions on a weekly basis during grading, trenching and paving activities. PG&E shall provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with a copy of documentation of compliance actions.

Responsibility: PG&E shall verify contractor's compliance, actions and reporting.

Timing: At least 3 business days prior to starting grading, CPUC mitigation monitor shall visit site weekly. PG&E shall document installation of the silt barrier, submitting copies to the CPUC compliance monitor and the Los Gatos Public Works Director. Reporting on silt monitoring and removal and street sweeping shall be submitted weekly to the CPUC compliance monitor.

IV.c-2: In order to reduce hazards of silt deposition in storm drains during construction of the distribution feeder line, PG&E shall require the construction crew or contractor to:

· place silt barriers at all storm drain inlets along Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue that are within 500 feet of, and down-gradient of the open trench or soil stockpile; remove silt barriers upon completion of construction; place excavated or stockpiled soil no closer than ten feet from storm drain inlets; and

· consistent with Mitigation Measure V.a-1, sweep Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue within one block of the trench each day until the trench is closed.

Monitoring Action: CPUC mitigation monitor shall check silt conditions on site on a weekly basis during construction. PG&E shall provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with a copy of documentation of compliance actions.

Responsibility: PG&E shall verify contractor's compliance actions and reporting.

Timing: At least 3 business days prior to starting grading, PG&E shall document installation of the silt barriers, copying the CPUC mitigation monitor and the Los Gatos Public Works Director. Reporting on handling and stockpiling of soil and street sweeping activities shall be submitted weekly to the CPUC mitigation monitor.

Air Quality

Impact: Project construction activities may generate nuisance dust.

Mitigation Measure

V.a-1: In order to reduce the potential impacts on dust generation during construction, PG&E shall require construction contractors to implement a dust abatement program during construction activities. At a minimum, the dust abatement program (as adapted from Bay Area Air Quality Management District) should include:

· Water all active construction sites at least twice daily on days without measurable rainfall at the site;

· Cover all trucks hauling soil, sand, and other loose materials or require all trucks to maintain at least two feet of freeboard; and

· Sweep daily (with water sweepers) all paved access roads including the outside lane of Winchester Boulevard within one block of the driveway access point, parking areas and staging areas at construction sites.

Monitoring Action: PG&E still provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with disclosure form signed by the contractor documenting dust abatement compliance actions.

Responsibility: PG&E shall verify contractor's compliance

Timing: PG&E shall keep daily records will be kept daily and submit them weekly to the CPUC.

Noise

Impact: Project construction activities would create noise.

Mitigation Measures

X.a-1: To reduce the construction noise effects, PG&E shall require construction contractors to limit noisy construction activities to the least noise-sensitive times of day and week (e.g., 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Monday through Friday).

Monitoring Action: PG&E will provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with disclosure form signed by the contractor of compliance showing dates of work and time of day at which work was initiated and completed for that day.

Responsibility: PG&E to verify contractor's compliance actions and reporting.

Timing: Records will be kept daily and submitted monthly to the CPUC.

X.a-2: To reduce the construction noise effects, PG&E shall require all contractors to adequately muffle and maintain construction equipment used on the site.

Monitoring Action: PG&E will provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with disclosure form signed by the contractors that all construction equipment is equipped with the noise muffling devices specified by the manufacturer and is properly maintained.

Responsibility: PG&E to verify contractor's compliance actions and reporting.

Timing: PG&E shall submit the disclosure at least three business days prior to initiating construction.

X.a-3: To reduce the construction noise effects, PG&E shall require all contractors to locate all stationary construction equipment (i.e., compressors and generators) as far as practicable from the eastern property line.

Monitoring Action: PG&E will provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with disclosure form signed by the contractor of the location of such equipment.

Responsibility: PG&E to verify that equipment is properly placed.

Timing: PG&E will keep weekly records and submit them monthly to the CPUC.

Public Services

Impact: Following construction of trenches in the streets and sidewalks, PG&E would pave the street and sidewalk: this may create rough and uneven pavement that may be a hazard to vehicles and pedestrians.

Mitigation Measure

XI.d-1: In order to prevent hazards to vehicular traffic and pedestrians from uneven pavement in traffic lanes and sidewalks dug-up for construction, following construction of the distribution feeder line and closure of the trench, PG&E shall restore the road surface in the trenched lanes along Winchester Boulevard and Lark Avenue and in the sidewalk to a condition equal to that at the time immediately prior to initiating construction.

Monitoring Action: PG&E will provide the CPUC mitigation monitor and the Los Gatos Public Works Director with a disclosure form that demonstrates compliance.

Responsibility: PG&E will verify compliance; Los Gatos Public Works Director will indicate concurrence in writing to the CPUC.

Timing: PG&E shall submit the disclosure within one week of completion of the construction of the distribution feeder line.

Visual/Aesthetics

Impact: Project security lighting may be directed in such a way as to be a nuisance to nearby residents and offices.

Mitigation Measures

XIII.c-1: In order to prevent the creation of nuisance lighting, all lighting on the site shall be angled downward and directed away from adjacent residences in the Charter Oaks Circle condominiums at all times.

Monitoring Action: PG&E will provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with disclosure form demonstrating that lighting mitigation has been accomplished. If a complaint of mis-directed lighting is filed during the life of the facility, PG&E shall take corrective action within five business days of the complaint.

Responsibility: PG&E shall submit the disclosure to the CPUC mitigation monitor.

Timing: PG&E shall submit the disclosure at least one week following installation of lighting or filing of a complaint by a resident or adjacent office.

XIII.c-2: In order to prevent nuisance lighting, to the extent possible, all lighting fixtures on the site should be positioned behind trees as viewed from adjacent residences in the Charter Oaks Circle condominiums or, if this is not possible, PG&E shall plant new evergreen (non-deciduous broad-leaf or needle-leaf) trees to screen site lighting from the residences.

Monitoring Action: PG&E will provide the CPUC mitigation monitor with disclosure form demonstrating that lighting mitigation has been accomplished.

Responsibility: PG&E shall submit the disclosure to the CPUC mitigation monitor.

Timing: PG&E shall submit the disclosure at least one week following installation of lighting.

In light of the analysis in the Initial Study, and the mitigation measures identified therein (and listed above) for inclusion into the project, the CPUC proposes to find that the project will not have a significant effect on the environment.

 

________________________________________________

Natalie Walsh, Program Manager
Analysis Branch
Energy Division
California Public Utilities Commission

TOP
Back to Vasona Substation Main Page PG&E Substation Projects Main Page CPUC Home Page